MX vs. ATV Legends recently launched on PC, Xbox and PlayStation, and we had been looking forward to it for a while. Here’s our take on the long-running franchise’s return from developer Rainbow Studos and THQ Nordic.
As a franchise, MX vs ATV dates all the way back to the PS2/Xbox era, but in 2022 it faces far less competition, as it’s been ages since we had a MotorStorm game and it’s been five years since Baja: Edge of Control HD. We get a bit of dirt racing from Codemasters through their DiRT series and the Monster Energy Supercross games, but none of them quite feel like MX vs. ATV and its combination of dirt bikes, UTVs and ATVs.
To more casual racing fans, that combination has always been a blessing. They’re happy to eschew realism for a bit of fun, and don’t need the handling to be super accurate as they prefer a more arcade-like experience. The UTVs are a bit of an odd choice in that sense, because they feel relatively clunky and awkward to control in comparison to the other vehicle types.
As MotorStorm fans, driving ATVs around is the most fun part of the experience. You get a good sense of speed with them, they’re much harder to crash than the dirt bikes and the controls feel like they have proper weight to them, especially when playing with a DualSense controller. It makes for fun races, bumping into others and pulling ahead or recovering from a bad call where you got pushed into a wall.
The bikes, by comparison, feel a bit more floaty. There’s definitely a big sense of speed to them, but drifting around corners or powering up or down an incline doesn’t always give you the sense that you’re fully in control. It’s fun in its own way, but we gravitated more and more towards the ATV racing the more we played. This is especially good when you use the new trails mode, which is a checkpoint race mode that reminded us of classics in the genre and which was missing in the last iteration of the game.
Another good mode to try out is the career mode, which is the meat of MX vs. ATV Legends. Having to play with all three vehicle types holds it back a little, but we had fun playing it through to the end nonetheless. And that’s despite some iffy AI behaviour that can be all over the place. Our favorite mode has to be the split screen local multiplayer option though, which is a great fit for the arcade-like racing mayhem that MX vs. ATV can offer. Again, this is probably best enjoyed with ATV vehicles, but stick to those and you’ll have fun that will remind you of the classic PS3 era of MotorStorm sequels.
Sure, MX vs. ATV Legends has its limitations, and need some post-launch love as well (especially in the AI department), but for a particular type of racing fan it’s going to entertain you quite well.